Jeff Jacoby’s Aug. 8 op-ed “Obama’s unreasonable class war” focuses on the misunderstood concept of tax fairness. As Jacoby rightly points out in the last paragraph, “reasonable minds can debate whether income inequality is good, bad, or neutral.” Indeed, the very concept of tax fairness is a moot point. Taxes exist to maintain the services provided by the government; therefore, the discussion really should be about improving tax income to allow the government to best provide services with minimal impact on the economy.
Under that assumption, it is fairly clear that decreasing the taxes paid by the wealthy has rarely improved the overall economic welfare of the entire population. What is also clear is that currently the wealthy are paying a lower tax rate than they have over at least the past 50 years.
While there may be some validity to the Republican point that lowering taxes on the wealthy frees up money for job creation, there is also mathematically a point where the loss of income to the government more than offsets any individual income gains.
It is apparent from our current economic crisis that current tax rates are not doing their job of facilitating a government that can provide necessary services and create an atmosphere that improves the economic position of all Americans. That is the crux of the tax fairness debate; it is not class warfare.